Saturday, April 20, 2024

Minister pays tribute to Māori leader

Associate Minister for Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta, has acknowledged the passing of community leader and tireless advocate for urban Māori rights, Dame Temuranga June Batley-Jackson (Ngāti Maniapoto), the mother of Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson.

“Dame June was a trail blazer who stood up for the rights of urban Māori at a time when not many wahine Māori were in leadership roles,” Minister Mahuta said.

“June dedicated her life to fighting for the rights of urban Māori. She recognised many Māori in cities had not reconnected back with their iwi and the challenge they faced getting funding and resources.

“She has left an incredible legacy as a staunch community advocate, entrepreneur, activist and of course mother and grandmother.

“My thoughts are with her whānau – to my colleague Willie, his siblings Vaughan and Rowanne and her many mokopuna.”   

Dame June and her husband Bob Jackson championed better access to essential services for their South Auckland community. They set up the Manukau Urban Māori Authority (MUMA) in 1986 alongside other Auckland Māori leaders, and she served as CEO of the authority for more than two decades.

She was also passionate about rehabilitative justice and was the longest serving member of the New Zealand Parole Board, following her appointment in 1991.

In 1996 Dame June was made a Companion of the Queens Service Order for public service. She later became a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2010 for services to Māori.

Haere, okioki atu rā e te Kahurangi mē ō nui i te huihuinga o te tini.  Aue te mamae.

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